Young children are always at the greatest risk of being involved in a pedestrian collision. This risk is unfortunately more than doubled on Halloween night. Parents and kids need to be aware of the dangers of trick-or-treating and take steps to avoid incidents. If a child is harmed by a dangerous driver who fails to be reasonably careful on Halloween, an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer should be consulted for help.
Preventing Halloween Pedestrian Accidents
When kids go out trick-or-treating, they tend to be on the roads as it is getting dark. Young children may also run into the middle of the road, dash into the street from between parked cars, or cross roads without looking. All of this creates a tremendous risk of motor vehicle collisions.
State Farm recently conducted a large-scale study of more than four million motor vehicle accident records from 1990 to 2010. The goal was to determine how dangerous Halloween is for children and the results were not good news. According to the research, a total of 115 kids were killed on Halloween night in pedestrian accidents over the course of the study period. This is an average of 5.5 deaths in pedestrian accidents each year on Halloween night. This is more than double the 2.6 pedestrian accidents that occurred, on average, over the course of a single normal day.
As many as 70 percent of the accidents that occurred on Halloween night happened in the middle of the block, rather than at intersections or on corners of the road. This is likely because children tend to run out between vehicles and into the middle of the road to cross and they get struck by drivers who aren’t paying attention or who cannot stop on time.
Around 60 percent of the accidents occurred between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 PM with most accidents happening between 6:00 and 7:00 PM when it started to get dark. Kids aged 12 to 15 were the most likely to be in deadly pedestrian accidents. Children within this age group accounted for 32 percent of the pedestrian deaths, compared with 23 percent of fatalities in the five-to-eight age group, which was the group with the second highest number of fatalities.
Kids between 12 and 15 may be at an age when they no longer go out with an adult, which may account for the higher number of fatalities. Safe Kids Worldwide warns parents that children under 12 should not trick-or-treat alone, but the data clearly shows that even parents of older kids need to go over safety rules such as not crossing when using an electronic device; looking both ways before crossing; and always crossing at corners or crosswalks.
Drivers also have an obligation to follow best practices for safety in order to reduce the risk of deadly pedestrian accidents on Halloween night. Drivers should ensure that they slow their speed when going through residential neighborhoods where kids are likely to be trick-or-treating. Drivers should also be on the lookout for children, especially as it starts to get dark out. If parents dress their kids in bright costumes and put reflective stickers on trick-or-treat bags, hopefully this will help drivers to see kids and avoid a crash.
The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. have extensive experience in pedestrian accident cases. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of abuse.